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Recovery Act - Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy(ARPA-E); Funding Opportunity Announcement No. DE-FOA-0000065

This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number:
Agency: Department of Energy
Office: Federal Locations
Location: All DOE Federal Contracting Offices
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Special Notice
Added: Apr 27, 2009 2:46 pm
Funding Opportunity Announcement No. DE-FOA-0000065

This is the first solicitation for the Advanced Research Projects Agency

Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E is a new organization within the Department of


(DOE), created specifically to foster research and development (R&D) of

transformational energy-related technologies. Transformational


are by definition technologies that disrupt the status quo. They are not

merely better than current technologies, they are significantly better.


a technology is considered transformational when it so outperforms current

approaches that it causes an industry to shift its technology base to the


technology. The Nation needs transformational energy-related technologies


overcome the threats posed by climate change and energy security, arising


its reliance on traditional uses of fossil fuels and the dominant use of

oil in


ARPA-E will fund scientists and technologists to take an immature


that promises to make a large impact on the ARPA-E Mission Areas and

develop it

beyond the valley of death that prevents many transformational new

technologies from becoming a market reality. The valley of death


occurs in two phases. The first phase occurs at the point of determining

whether a laboratory stage technology can ever become a real-world


or it has some inherent unsuitability for real-world applications. Once

it has

been determined through R&D that the apparent barriers can be overcome and


they may be overcome, then additional investment from many other sources


a new field of technology options to open up. The second phase of the


of death occurs at the point of developing the immature transformational

technology to the point where key risks have been lowered enough that


can invest in the final stages of development and incorporate the


into products.

Success for ARPA-E as an organization will be gauged by (a) whether its

portfolio of investments includes the most promising transformational


technology options and (b) the agencys ability to form and manage R&D


to mature these technologies rapidly. In the end, the nation will judge


on whether these technologies come to market and are being used widely


that they make a significant difference to reductions in domestic oil use


energy-related emissions of greenhouse gases.

To accomplish these challenging goals, ARPA-E is willing to work with any


entity singly or in teams, that has a transformational technology idea and


credible plan to mature that technology beyond either phase of the valley


death. For early stage transformational technologies with the potential


broad transformational impact, the R&D project must carry the technology

development to the point where others can recognize the major potential


and the technology is suitable for development or can be made suitable.


the projects aimed at overcoming the later phase of the valley of death,


technology (component, system, hardware, software, or other) must be

matured to

the point that it can transition into industrial development and


The kinds of technologies most suited to an ARPA-E style development are


that still have significant technical risks to overcome, but promise to


the future costs and scale of products that can deeply penetrate into


and industrial use. ARPA-E intends to accelerate the development of these

technologies and, in many cases, make possible transformational


that would normally not be able to reach enough maturity for industry to


them because of the risks at the current stage of development.

ARPA-E intends to be a nimble, flat organization that is willing to take


high-risk projects to meet its ambitious goals. Working with the


ARPA-E will create an intellectual property strategy, technical data


and procurement or financial assistance instrument that best manages the


risk inherent in this kind of R&D and optimizes the likelihood that the

technology will move forward to market after the Government ceases


ARPA-E has the flexibilities to work with companies who do not


work with the Federal Government. In the area of cost-sharing, ARPA-E

will be

flexible, working with the performer to determine the appropriate level

and the

appropriate type of cost-sharing arrangements, which may include monetary

contributions and/or other (in-kind) contributions. As rules of thumb,


the project risk is very high, the cost sharing should be lower. When the

technology is closer to market or the future market is large and


very profitable, the cost share should be higher.

Once the R&D project begins, ARPA-E Program Managers will interact


with performers, helping to identify problems as early as possible and


solutions to keep the R&D on track. ARPA-Es role is more than simply

providing R&D funds; ARPA-E will actively work to make your R&D succeed.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), funded through the American

Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will focus on high-risk,


transformational energy-related R&D. In this announcement, ARPA-E asks

for the

kernel of your technical idea in the form of a concept paper. ARPA-E will

respond to you, indicating whether a full application based on that idea


likely to receive funding. We do this first step to save you the time and

expense of preparing a full application that may have little chance of

success. Please read carefully about the ARPA-E mission and decide if

your R&D

plan really satisfies these goals. Only truly transformational


that can contribute greatly to the ARPA-Es Mission Areas have any chance


funding. We are not looking for incremental progress on current


If you have a technical idea that can change the energy landscape and are

looking to work with ARPA-E to move that technology beyond the technical


barriers preventing its current use, read further.

This initial announcement is narrowly focused on transformational R&D, but

intentionally broad on applications and technologies. This announcement


open to the full range of concepts potentially covering all aspects of


Mission Areas. The intent is to harness the creativity of all sectors of


American science and technology communities to advance the ARPA-E Mission


and stimulate the pursuit of new and innovative technical opportunities


can spur great leaps forward within those mission impact areas.

Concept Paper

In order to reduce the administrative burden on applicants and ARPA-E, and


mitigate unnecessary costs associated with the generation of applications


are unlikely to receive funding and expedite awards, ARPA-E applicants are

required to submit a concept paper as the first step of the application

process. ARPA-E will review the concept paper and provide early feedback


whether the kernel of the R&D idea is likely to form a basis of a


full application. Only after notification from ARPA-E on the concept


will the applicant be permitted to submit a full application.

Opening time for submission of concept papers begins May 12, 2009. The


Paper closing date and time is on 2 June 2009 at 8:00 p.m. (EST). Concept

papers must be submitted to at any time between the


time and the closing time for concept paper submission. Early submission


strongly encouraged.

This FOA will appear both on the FedConnect website stated above and on Mr. Bradley Poston at is


Grants Officer.
U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave, SW WashingtonDC, 20585